Living Years - Track By Track.
Nobody’s Perfect: From the audible intake of breath which opens this track, we have a bona fide rocker which really sets the tone for the rest of the album. I doubt if Paul Young ever sounded finer than he does on this one!
The Living Years: It would have been very easy to have wallowed in sentimental mawkishness with this one. Thankfully both Mike and B A Robertson steered well clear of that and what we have instead, is a marvellous tribute to both of their fathers as well as a song which touches real emotions on so many levels - a deserved success and one of Paul Carrack’s finest ever vocals.
Seeing Is Believing: An up tempo look at the Eighties as a decade. A period which brought us so many good and bad things and they are all held up here for a closer inspection. A healthily tongue in cheek anthem for the decade that brought us shoulder pads and the mullet!
Nobody Knows: A marvellous up tempo ballad, the sort that only The Mechanics can really pull off successfully.
Poor Boy Down: If ever there was any doubt about Paul Young’s credentials as a rocker, then they are blown away by this number. Up tempo, up beat and rude, Paul swaggers through this one as only he can.
Blame: An angst ridden number with some fierce playing by the rest of the band and another rollicking vocal performance from Mr Young.
Don’t: Time for Mr Carrack to shine again and he does. A song about the mind games people play and delivered with the right amount of bathos by Paul.
Black & Blue: Certainly rhythmically leaves you with bruises with its unrelenting rhythm and yet another brash and boisterous vocal from Paul Young.
Beautiful Day: Yet another rocker from the band.
Why Me?: The album closes with a marvellous evocation of the injustice and intolerance which the Eighties seemed to be so full of. Paul Carrack’s soulful vocal delivers just the right mixture of anger and angst.
Looking back on the album now with the benefit of almost twenty years, it is impossible to fail to admire how gutsy a project this was. Never having been one for preaching at people, Mike has nonetheless managed to address many pertinent issues in the songs in this album, making it the most thought provoking of all of the Mechanics’ offerings, and the last time that Paul Young’s star was in the ascendant - excellent stuff!